Abhishek Verma wins gold at Beijing World Cup, earns Tokyo Olympics quota

Gold medallist Saurabh Chaudhary (L) and bronze medallist Abhishek Verma pose with their medals at the 2018 Asian Games. MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images

India's Abhishek Verma won gold in the 10m air pistol event after shooting a score of 242.7 in the final at the Beijing World Cup on Saturday. His medal assured India of a second berth in the event at next year's Tokyo Olympics. Russia's Artem Chernousov (240.4) won silver, while South Korea's Seungwoo Han (220) won bronze.

Verma had finished fourth in the qualification round with a score of 585. Shahzar Rizvi (576) and Arjun Singh Cheema (571), the other Indians in action, finished 32nd and 54th respectively.

It was 29-year-old Verma's first medal at a World Cup. He was making his second senior World Cup appearance, having finished 24th in his debut at the New Delhi event in February. He won silver at the Asian Championships in Taoyuan earlier in the year. In 2018, Verma won bronze at the Asian Games and finished eighth at the World Championships.

For India, it was their fourth medal at this World Cup. They earlier won two golds -- Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary (10m air pistol mixed team event) and Divyansh Singh Panwar and Anjum Moudgil (10m air rifle mixed team event) -- and one silver (Divyansh Singh Panwar in the men's 10m air rifle event).

Verma is the fifth Indian shooter to earn a quota for the Tokyo Olympics. Modgil and Apurvi Chandela have won quotas in the women's 10m air rifle event, Chaudhary in the 10m air pistol event and Panwar in the 10m air rifle event.

Verma, who is a lawyer, took up the sport only four years ago at a shooting range in Hissar, Haryana. He is now just the fourth Indian man to have won gold in the 10m air pistol event at a World Cup after Jitu Rai (Maribor, 2014), Rizvi (Guadalajara, 2018) and Chaudhary (New Delhi, 2019).